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Who was better..the 'young' Babe, or 'old' Babe?

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  • Who was better..the 'young' Babe, or 'old' Babe?

    Inspired by the other Ruth thread, I am asking people who they prefer, Babe Ruth before Gehrig came along, or after. I personally think he was better in the latter part of his career. early on, not many others were adapting his style of hitting, and so he was being compared to deadball players. In the late 20s and 30s there was more competition for his slugging prowess. he may have been less dominant, but i think he was even more consistent and impressive. Not to mention, most players drop off in their early to mid 30s, making him even more special. For the purpose of this post, lets use the 7 year stretch from 1919-1925 for 'young' Ruth (or 1918-1925), and 1926-1932 (or 1926-1933) for the 'old' Ruth. WAR looks about equal for both 'Ruths'. What do you think?

  • #2
    Ruth's WAR early on is crammed into far fewer games and at-bats. The battle does become close when we include Ruth's belly-ache year, the worst of his career. But I still prefer the young Ruth, mainly because of his extra speed and better fielding. Ruth's defense WAR was 5.4 during those early years, yet only .6 during the latter stretch that you mentioned. You bring up a good point about his hitting. I think Ruth's PURE hitting was every bit as good as it was in his early years, maybe even a tad better. I believe Ruth's competition with Gehrig and Lou's support in the lineup helped him out. However, the young Ruth could leg out more triples and more infield hits, which allowed him to increase his slugging percentage and batting average. Also, the Young Ruth was a very good to great fielder. The older Ruth was mediocre in the field.

    Either way, Ruth wasted his talent somewhat. Had a taken better care of himself, I think his numbers would have been much more ridiculous than they already were. I think he could have added another 20 WAR easily, had he taken care of himself like Gehrig did.


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